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Calton Ave & Court Lane – CLOSED

Calton AveIn a letter dated 19 June the Council explains the closures of Calton Avenue and Court Lane.  A move that took us by surprise.

Cllr. Richard Livingstone Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and the Climate Emergency
Date: 19 June 2020

Dear Southwark resident,
Experimental transport measures in Dulwich Village

The Covid-19 pandemic has required us to introduce measures that fundamentally alter people’s travel patterns and the ways in which we use Southwark’s streets and spaces. Across Southwark, we are taking action to fast-track a variety of transport measures that support increased walking and cycling, allow social distancing, improve perception of air pollution exposure, and prevent motor vehicle traffic levels from rising.

The Dulwich area has been identified as a priority, as it receives a very high volume of through traffic and also, once schools resume, very high numbers of pupils walking and cycling. ‘Our Healthy Streets – Dulwich’ engagement project has identified a number of interventions with broad local support. We have adapted some of these to develop interventions that can be installed quickly and trialled to provide safer routes through the area for socially distanced, active travel.

These are all experimental measures – we will be required to conduct full public consultation before any of these are made permanent, and within eighteen months from installation. The measures are flexible as the experimental nature of the trial allows us to make amendments and changes within the first six months. An option will of course be to return the highway arrangements to the original state if the trial is not deemed to be successful.

We will be monitoring the impact of these changes throughout that period, using counts of motor vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists. In addition, we are inviting residents to let us know about the impact on the streets they use – whether positive or negative – on the feedback map at You are also able to sign up there for regular updates on this project, including the installation date. The site will be live once the measures have been installed.

These are unprecedented times – in collaboration with central government and Transport for London we are taking these urgent steps to ensure the health and safety of our residents. We remain committed to working with you to ensure that all the measures we take work for local people and contribute to enhanced quality of life both at this difficult time and in the future.

Yours faithfully,
Cllr. Richard Livingstone Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and the Climate Emergency


15 replies on “Calton Ave & Court Lane – CLOSED”

How does blocking a road have anything to do with covid 19??? More money wasting and pollution as people now have to drive further to get where they are going.

I live in Cobb court on burbage road and have done so for five years. Since the road closures I am seeing traffic queuing to get onto half moon lane backed up all the way to Cobb Court. I have never seen this before. Some of the cars also drove very fast and I have almost been involved in accidents on more than one occasion trying to exit Cobb court onto Burbage road. At least we have the lovely mural.

All that is happening now is that the village is getting blocked with queuing cars, all with their engines running, not just in rush hour but all day which is causing more pollution. This is even before the schools have gone back.

Whilst I definitely agree with the aim of encouraging walking and cycling round our local streets, I feel that the closure of Calton Avenue has been rushed through under the cover of Covid 19 and has caused complete mayhem in the whole area as predicted. Burbage Road has turned into a main thoroughfare. From our front window a total of 560 vehicles were recorded going north and south in what is normally the quietest month of the year – heaven help us when schools go back. Air quality has definitely deteriorated.

I realise, re-reading my comment above, I should have said that the total of 560 vehicles were recorded in just one hour from five to six pm on a recent Wednesday afternoon.

For comparison to the hourly count by Jane, I have done 89 separate 5 minute counts of cars, cyclists and pedestrians at different times over the period 18th July to 11th August from 87 Burbage Road. The average per 5 minutes is 30 cars, 6 cyclists and 7 pedestrians. So, that is equivalent to 360 cars in one hour. The highest number of cars in 5 minutes was 78 on Saturday 1st August from 1605-1610, so that would be equivalent to 836 cars in one hour if constant. The busiest period is 1430 to 1830, sometimes a bit later. I have done counts at varying times through the day, and the data is available on a spread sheet and has been passed to Tyrrell and Andrew . The traffic is going both ways, some times speeding, and sometimes speeding to overtake cyclists, and speeding up/braking between the speed bumps. What about a speed trap to pick up folk over 20 m.p.h.? some are going up to 40/50 m.p.h I suspect, sometime close behind each other, what about cyclists’ safety? I saw a speed trap in Milkwood Road recently after the long straight which is also a 20 m.p.h limit. The measures taken locally have not reduced traffic and pollution in this road, they have increased it, enormously since the peacefulness of the Covid period. I will also put on Councillor Livingston’s feedback map above.

We live in Burbage Road at the Half Moon Lane end. We are very concerned at the build up of traffic since the closure of Calton Avenue. There are queues of cars both morning and evening. It can only get worse once the schools return in September.
Jane Macdonald

I totally agree with Jane – the changes have had a terrible impact on Burbage Road in terms of increased traffic levels and pollution.

There is noticeably more traffic on Burbage Road since the closure of Calton Ave and the air pollution is also worse. As others have pointed out, this will presumably only get worse once schools are back. I have also noticed that some of the driving has become faster and more aggressive. In particular I have had dangerous situations several times recently when using the zebra crossing at the junction of Turney and Burbage with my young children. There are many more cars turning into Burbage Road and some don’t stop even when we are already in the middle of the crossing.

I am very much in support of the aims of reducing traffic and air pollution but the closure of Calton Avenue in isolation doesn’t seem to have achieved this.

From the above comments, and also from the traffic counts our Residents Association has organised, it is clear the Court Lane/Calton Ave closure has had an adverse effect on Burbage Road. Personally I would have just shut Calton Ave, not Court Lane as well, but while the “emergency“ closure of Court Lane is in place we need a similar closure in Burbage Road while we continue the discussion with our councillors as the best way forward long term.

We have lived in the section of Burbage Road between Half Moon Lane and Stradella Road for over 40 years.There has been a substantial additional amount of traffic using Burbage Road since the closure of Calton Avenue and Court Lane.It is much heavier in the morning and very much heavier in the afternoon from about 3.30 – 6.30pm .No doubt there will be additional traffic using the road when the local schools reopen.

We agree that traffic in the north end of the road is much heavier than before the closure at Court Lane and Calton Avenue and will deteriorate further when Schools return. The flow should be regulated. The natural control point is the railway bridge. A barrier that opened only to pass holders who had paid for the privilege seems the most practicable option, assuming that the closure just mentioned is going to stay.

Burbage Road has become the new rat run. Each day particularly at peak times vehicles are using Burbage Road to travel from the South Circular to Herne Hill to avoid the traffic congestion through Dulwich Village, that is nose to tail every week day. There is probably a 50 % increase in traffic at peak times along Burbage Road and it is becoming increasing difficult and dangerous to cross from one side of the road to the other due to the constant stream of vehicles. This situation was predicted prior to the closure of the Dulwich Village crossroads , yet the concerns went unheeded. Instead of a decrease in traffic there has been a substantial increase.

Just to add another voice to points already made….Traffic volumes at the Village end of Burbage Road have increased considerably since the closure of Calton Avenue and Court Lane. The time that one has to wait to cross the road has increased significantly. And this is during the “quiet” months of lockdown and summer holidays. September volumes will be higher still.

I help run the greengrocers In herne hill and have always driven into Herne Hill from the tolgate and then into Burbage road and then left into stradella road, what are Southwark councillors playing at just changing road layouts on a whim, I do food deliveries in that area and with these new measures it will make them a real headache, if I was being cynical I would say some of the councillors live in the Dulwich village area and want no cars outside their homes, but surely nobody would abuse their job in such a way …….. no surely not

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